The talents of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, presented by Tyrepower, were showcased last Friday evening with the Roger Hayden Squad taking on West Coast’s Naitanui Academy in an impressive hit out.
Held at Lathlain Park, the clash featured multicultural and Indigenous players aged 15 years old, and was the final commitment off the back of four training sessions over the past fortnight.
Former Fremantle player Brady Grey returned to the Club to coach the Roger Hayden Squad, working alongside Hayden himself to help guide the next crop of talent coming through.
Two new coaches also joined the program in the lead up to the game in former South Fremantle player Paul Mugambawa and NGA graduate and current East Fremantle player Keanu Haddow.
The match began with West Coast dominating play, ending the first term with a five-goal lead.
Fremantle took on the messaging from the coaching staff to re-group in the middle two quarters, scoring five goals to two, getting themselves back in the contest.
West Coast ran out the eventual victor, with a final score of 12 goals to Freo’s eight.
NGA Operations Coordinator Wade Spilcker ran through some of the more impressive performances from the match – and some names to potentially look out for in the future.
Wade Spilcker’s comments:
Jack Spence was very good in the ruck and key position, while Cody Johnson and Basil Hart were very good at either end of the ground. Basil finished with four goals, with three of those in the third quarter which is very impressive for his first NGA hitout.
Tyrell Bropho from West Perth used excellent speed through the midfield, while his kicking skills to hit up targets in the forward line was exceptional. He is a player of real talent.
Cooper Ginbey was good all over the ground, with that being his best game throughout his time at the NGA. It was great to see him continue to improve.
Ricky Ninyette showed some really good signs, along with a couple of really big strong tackles and defensive plays.
Aidan Kavanagh from Claremont used the ball particularly well in the forward line and had some crafty work up there that led to a couple of goals for us which was great.
Finally, Tai Morrison and Hayden Eades were good through the midfield for long periods of time as we worked our way back into the game
The Roger Hayden 15s Squad will now have a well-earned break from football throughout the off-season before being involved in the futures programs at their respective WAFL clubs.
In 2022, the squad will return to the NGA program as they step up into the Tendai Mzungu 16s Squad and continue on their NGA pathway.